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A pilot study of interpersonal psychotherapy for preventing excess weight gain in adolescent girls at-risk for obesity

Authors

  • Marian Tanofsky-Kraff PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Unit on Growth and Obesity, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4712
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  • Denise E. Wilfley PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Jami F. Young PhD,

    1. Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey
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  • Laura Mufson PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons/NY State Psychiatric Institute, NewYork, NewYork
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  • Susan Z. Yanovski MD,

    1. Unit on Growth and Obesity, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, NIDDK, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Deborah R. Glasofer PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons/NY State Psychiatric Institute, NewYork, NewYork
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  • Christine G. Salaita MS,

    1. Unit on Growth and Obesity, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Natasha A. Schvey BA

    1. Unit on Growth and Obesity, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • The opinions and assertions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not to be construed as reflecting the views of USUHS or the U.S. Department of Defense.

Abstract

Objective

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is effective at reducing binge episodes and inducing weight stabilization in obese adults with binge eating disorder.

Method

We piloted the administration of IPT to girls at-risk for excess weight gain (BMI 75th–97th percentile; IPT-WG) with and without loss of control (LOC) eating. Thirty-eight girls (12–17 years) were randomized to IPT-WG or a standard-of-care health education group.

Results

All 38 girls completed the programs and all follow-up visits through 6 months. Thirty-five of 38 returned for a complete assessment visit at 1 year. Among girls with baseline LOC (n = 20), those in IPT-WG experienced greater reductions in such episodes than girls in health education (p = .036). Regardless of LOC status, over 1 year girls in IPT-WG were less likely to increase their BMI as expected for their age and BMI percentile (p = .028).

Discussion

IPT-WG is feasible and acceptable to adolescent girls at-risk for adult obesity and may prevent excess weight gain over 1 year. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010; 43:701–706

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